Xavien Howard, Dolphins come to terms on restructured contract

NFL's interception leader in 2020 'happy to be here'
Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard at practice, July 28, 2021
Posted at 11:12 PM, Aug 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-08 23:12:24-04

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The NFL's interception leader from a season ago is staying in South Florida.

Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard and the Miami Dolphins have agreed to a restructured contract.

"I'm happy," Howard told reporters Sunday. "I'll always be happy to be with the team that drafted me and stuck through the ups and downs."

As part of Howard's new contract, the sixth-year player had $1 million in Pro Bowl incentives and $2.5 million in additional incentives added to his 2021 year, the NFL Network reported.

Howard, who led the NFL with 10 interceptions last season, will also reportedly get $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses and $100,000 in workout bonuses moved to his base salary and guaranteed money in 2022.

"I was just happy about the whole situation," Howard said. "I'm just happy to be here and compete with the team."

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard led NFL in interceptions in 2020
Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard points and runs with the ball after intercepting a pass from Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert during a game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Howard led the NFL with 10 interceptions.

Howard blasted the team last month on social media, expressing his frustration about his contract and saying he didn't "feel valued or respected by the Dolphins." The post has since been removed.

"I'm not going to give you guys the details, but we're excited to have gotten this done and we are just looking forward to continually improving with X," head coach Brian Flores said.

Howard had requested a trade, but he seems content to be returning to the Dolphins in 2021.

"At the end of the day, we got it done, so all of the other stuff, I'm not even worried about it," he said. "I'm just happy to be here."

According to the NFL Network, the deal has been restructured in such a way that Howard can become the NFL's highest-paid cornerback this season.

Flores said the team had been progressing in contract talks with Howard's agent, despite what it may have seemed.

"I think compromise is important, which we talked about the other day, and at the end of the day, we want all sides to be happy," Flores said. "We feel like that's the case right now and that's how we'll move forward."